It is great to come across a great website like this one.Nice one Adam! Where we all get to share our experiences and issues with Ulcerative Colitis. I am from Ireland in the very south east of the country in Wexford. I am looking forward to chatting to everyone here and sharing my views and experiences on UC here from Ireland.
Q: How did you get diagnosed? Do others in your family have the same thing?
A: I was diagnosed on November 26th 2007. I will never forget it. I went in for a scope after suffering for a year with symptoms. I finally managed to get a doctor who took me seriously. So straight after the scope I was brought from the day ward into the surgical ward and put on an IV treatment of Hydrocortisone. I had no say in the matter as I was told that if I had of been any later my large colon would have been removed. Phew! Good timing. It was during this time I found out that UC was on BOTH sides of my family. My Grandad on my Mother’s side and my Aunt on my Father’s side.
Q: What was life like for you when after you were diagnosed? Did you see doctors afterwards, and what was the treatment plan? What type of medications have you tried, did they work? Any other thoughts you have feel free to put them down.
A: Life was surreal after that. I was pleased I knew what was wrong with me but then I had to learn to cope with an illness and with only 6 months left in college and a thesis to write I had to cope very quick but I am a person who will always see a bright side to things and I have a mad sense of humour too.
I have visits with my doctors every three months or every 6 months. It depends on how I am at the time. After the steroids I was put on Pentasa, 8 tablets a day,4000mg. This treatment seems to work for me except if I get a bad flare then I am forced to go back to steroids which I do not like as sometimes they do not work. I have not got any other treatment other than that. I find that diet helps (SCD diet or if not that I just cut out dairy and wheat). I am also visiting an Eastern medicine doctor who specialises in herbs and mineral treatments along with diet. I find this helps big time! If anyone has questions on that feel free to ask.
Q: What has been the hardest part of your life with relation to your disease?
A: The frustration of people not understanding what i’m going through but think they do so always feel the need to throw in their two cents (give me advice). Even though it is never good advice.
Q: What else from your experience would you like to share with others who visit this site?
A: Always be optimistic and keep yourself happy. I know it is hard to say that sitting on the toilet and all Hell is breaking loose between your bowels and the toilet bowl and cursing every healthy living thing there is. But stay positive and keep your hopes up. It is worth it in the long run.
Q: How much money have you spent in UC or Crohn’s related healthcare costs since being diagnosed?
A: Luckily not much. I am not on any health insurance and the first month of being diagnosed I paid for the Pentasa and steroids. Steroids being €8 ($10.81) and Pentasa being over €100 for a box ($135.15). But after that I applied for the drugs payment scheme which is where you pay a small amount every month for your medication and the scheme pays the rest. When I was on it it was €90. I still couldn’t afford that as I was a student paying for rent,bills and college so I then applied for the ‘medical card’. This allows you to get your medication free and hospital expenses etc are paid for by the government.You have to apply yearly for it and will only get it if you meet the criteria on it. Luckily I did. So hospital visits and tablets were never in issue money wise. Although now I am paying monthly for Eastern medicine. Which comes to a total of €140 a month for the check up and medicines.
Hope everyone is in good spirits and keeping healthy and still smiling. Remember… UC-have a break, have a kwick krap!